Remove ads

Information

Year
1977
Runtime
85 min.
Director
Chantal Akerman
Genre
Documentary
Rating *
7.6
Votes *
649
Checks
491
Favs
36
Dislikes
9
Favs/checks
7.3% (1:14)
Favs/dislikes
4:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. demagogo's avatar

    demagogo

    I just got my leg pulled... by art. 3 years 10 months ago
  2. jerry warton's avatar
  3. Siskoid's avatar

    Siskoid

    With News from Home, Belgian director Chantal Akerman shows she can capture tedium as brilliantly in non-fiction, as she did in fiction (i.e. her masterpiece Jeanne Dielman). As her immobile camera photographs New York's streets and subways, she reads from her mother's letters (but never hers, it's a one way conversation) in a lamenting monotone that's sometimes drowned out by ambient sound. In her mother's repeated motifs, we by turns sense the reason why anyone would move away from home, and feel badly for the supportive, albeit needy parent suffering withdrawal after years of making their child their entire life. In her mundane stories about people we don't know, we see the reflection of Akerman's images, filled with anonymous New Yorkers who quizzically look at the camera, or simply ignore its presence. The biggest mystery of all is Akerman herself from whom we get no real news, her camera entirely without judgment or fathomable motive. Does she feel that she's part of this great city, or apart from it? As the movie continues, we'll have more moving shots as the camera looks out of car and train windows, perhaps informing us that she's become a part of the bustle and hustle, or perhaps she's just trying to see everything before she leaves in that final shot from the Staton Island ferry, where it's hard not to see the seagulls following as nagging avatars of her mother. I'm often reminded of Tarkovsky's very still shots in Akerman's work, in both cases forcing you to think as you process and re-process an image. Akerman's frame is always more interesting, however, perhaps because it's less philosophical and more open to interpretation. This one creeps up on you. I admit I thought the noise in the first half was giving me a headache and the experiment quickly got old. And then Akerman sticks with it even longer and your head goes many places, examining your place in the world and trying to pinpoint hers. Not experimentalism for its own sake, the experiment actually yields a powerful effect. I'm all about this. 2 months ago
See all comments

Friends

Login to see which of your friends have seen this movie!

Activity

  1. ebenantar checked this movie 1 day 20 hours ago
  2. Orxbane checked this movie 6 days 6 hours ago
See more activity

In 4 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #71 in Criterion's Eclipse Collection
    Criterion's Eclipse Collection's icon

    Criterion's Eclipse Coll…

    71
  2. This movie ranks #72 in Sight and Sound -The Greatest Documentaries of All Time
    Sight and Sound -The Greatest Documentaries of All Time's icon

    Sight and Sound -The Gre…

    72
  3. This movie ranks #74 in 100 Documentary Films (BFI Screen Guide)
    100 Documentary Films (BFI Screen Guide)'s icon

    100 Documentary Films (B…

    74
  4. This movie ranks #905 in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
    They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?'s icon

    They Shoot Pictures, Don…

    905
View all lists this movie is in